Glory to God through the Gospel
Romans 16:25-27 (Pastor Heo)
16:25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him– 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
This is Paul’s benediction:
“To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
This letter contains a doxology (summary of the gospel) which Paul preached and loved with his whole life and heart. As we know, Romans started with “gospel” and closes with “gospel.”
- 1:1 “Paul, servant of Christ, set apart for the gospel of God…”
- 1:14 “I’m so eager to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of salvation for all who believe. In this gospel a righteousness is being revealed, a righteousness by faith…”
- 16:25-27 Paul’s doxology, summary of the gospel.
From this, I’ll show 5 characteristics of the gospel and from the last part: the ultimate purpose of the whole universe (including our existence) is to show (declare) the glory of God. I will show HOW we can bring glory to God.
5 Characteristics of the Gospel
#1 It enables us to stand firm (establishes strength)
“To him who is able to establish…”
The gospel has power – it makes us stand against the temptations of this world. It is only God and the gospel who can make us stand firm in this world and overcome ALL difficulties.
Yes, we know from our own personal experience, life can sometimes be VERY DIFFICULT – even dangerous, depressing, unstable. But remember, the GOSPEL is “GOD’S POWER” to overcome all problems and difficulties and sufferings in this world.
This power of God through the gospel is what keeps us upright even though all things threaten.
1 Cor “Now, I want to remind you of the gospel on which you take your stand. By this gospel you are saved, by this gospel you can overcome.”
Gospel = Makes us stand firm in faith
#2 Paul preached it, Jesus offered it
“…establish you by MY gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ…”
Paul says “my gospel” twice in Romans.
Are you able to say this as well?
- takes its source / root in Jesus Christ and
- is to be delivered / transmitted by man.
- Without Jesus, there exists no gospel – because HE IS the main message and theme of the gospel.
- But without us, others can never hear of this gospel.
A Christian’s duty is: when he is found by Christ, he must GO FORWARD and transmit this same gospel to others: because this gospel is
“good news of great joy for ALL the people all the time.”
Yes, remember, if you have this gospel in your heart, you should go straight away and transmit this gospel to others.
- You remember the disciple Andrew? When he was found by Christ, the first thing he did was find his brother Peter and say, “We have found the Messiah.”
- Remember Phillip? The first thing he did when he was found by Christ was to find his friend Nathaniel and say, “We have found the one of whom the prophets wrote.”
- Samaritan woman: After she was found by Christ and found living water in him, she immediately left her water jug, returned to town and shouted, “COME AND SEE! The One who told me everything I ever did! Could he be the Christ?”
Yes, this is the Christian privilege AND responsibility.
We must acquire this gospel and salvation for ourselves, AND THEN transmit it to others.
Here’s a fictional story of a conversation between Jesus and an angel in heaven – after his suffering, cross, resurrection, and ascension. He still bore the marks of suffering in his body.
- Angel: “Welcome home! You must have suffered so much – so terribly for all the people down there!”
- Jesus: “Yes, I did.”
- Angel: “Do all humans down there know that? Do they KNOW what you did for them?”
- Jesus: “No, not yet. Only a few so far.”
- Angel: “What have you done so that they should know your story of your love for them?”
- Jesus: “I asked / commanded / commissioned my believers, followers, disciples – Peter, James, Paul, etc – to make it their main business to transmit this news to others – and they to others – and they to others – and they to others – until the very last man on the ends of the earth have heard of this news.”
- But the angel looked disappointed because he knew of Man’s weakness. Angel: “What if your men forget their main business? What if they are lazy in doing this? What if they are unfaithful? What if, in the 21st century, they fail in their main commission? Don’t you have any other plans?”
- Jesus: “No. There aren’t any other plans. I’m counting on them. They will be faithful.”
Yes, still today, Jesus has died, and is now alive, for this gospel and he is depending on us to transmit this news to others – until the very last Man on earth hears this news.
#3 It is the climax (consummation) of human history
“…according to the revelation of the mystery *hidden for long ages* past, 26 but now revealed and made known *through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God…*”
Yes, there are many prophets in history, and maybe some of them may not have known EVERYTHING they wrote – but they wrote – by the command of God – the inspiration of God.
They wrote of Jesus coming, death, resurrection, ascension, 2nd coming, the salvation of the world, the salvation of the Gentiles.
Let me introduce the gospel as told by the Old Testament. (The story about Jesus Christ.)
- Gen 3:15 “I put enmity between you and the woman – he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”
- (Prophecy about the offspring of the woman – to kill the serpant (Jesus has defeated Satan))
- Gal 4:4 “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…”
- Rev 12(or 22):9? The ancient snake is the devil (Satan)
This verse is a promise for salvation through the Messiah to come.
Gen 3:15 is the FIRST gospel – primitive evangelism
Gospel to Abraham
God preached the gospel also to Abraham.
- Abraham in Gen 12 “I will make you a great nation – those who bless you, I will bless; those who curse you, I will curse. And ALL nations on earth will be blessed through you.”
- Acts 10:43 “All prophets testify about Jesus Christ, that everyone who believes in him receives the forgiveness of sin through his name.”
The gospel is the consummation of human history.
With the coming of Christ, something unique happened. The coming of Christ was the greatest event to which ALL history was working. ALL history flows around “His Story.”
We count dates from his birth. BC, AD
This is the greatest, central event and fact of human history. Eternity invades time – God comes to earth. With Jesus coming, life begins all over again.
2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”
#4 Intended for ALL human beings (from the beginning of time)
“but now revealed and made know… so that *all nations* might believe and obey him…”
Salvation in Christ is (and always has been) meant for ALL nations from the foundations of the world.
It was not meant only for the Jews.
Going for the Gentiles was NOT an afterthought.
- Matt “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in ALL the world as a testimony and then the END (Jesus) will come.”
- Matt 28:20? “Therefore go into all the world and preach the gospel.” (last command)
#5 It is issued to an obedient world where Jesus is king
“all nations might *believe and obey him*…”
“Obedience is another name for faith.”
This is not founded on submission on an iron Law, but it is founded on surrender, the result of love, in Christ.
We have not surrendered to God in fear, in terror, but we have fallen in love with Jesus Christ – who loved us first – and enough to die on the cross for us to give us eternal life.
Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his own love for us in this – that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
John 3:16 “God so loved the world [you and me] that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever [you and me] shall not perish but have eternal life.”
1 John 4:10 “This is love, not that you loved God, but that God loved you and gave his only Son as the propitiation for our sins.”
“…to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
- The Greek word for glory is “doxa”
- The English word “doxology” comes from “doxa”
- “Doxology” is “praise to God for his glory”
Remember, the ultimate purpose of the whole universe (Creation, living things, non-living things, etc) is to glorify God and reveal his glory.
What is the final purpose of life?
- To glorify God.
What is the glory of God?
- It is who God is. God’s glory is the essence of his nature, the weight of his importance, and demonstration of his power, manifestation of his wisdom, expression of his holiness, and all his other intrinsic qualities and attributes, and the atmosphere of his presence.
Our final purpose is to bring glory to God.
v. 27 “to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
HOW? Through Jesus Christ.
Without Jesus, it is impossible to please and bring glory to God.
4 ways to glorify God
1. Believe in Christ and accept him as personal Savior and Lord
(John 11:40 “If you believe in me, you will see the glory of God.”)
2. Worship God in the name of Jesus Christ
(worship is our first responsibility to God. We worship him by enjoying him. What is the motivation of your worship? God wants it to be motivated by thanksgiving, love, joy – not duty.
Worship is more than praising, praying, sermon, etc. Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying and loving God – and giving ourselves to be used for his glory. When we do this, EVERYTHING we do can become an act of worship)
3. Bearing much fruit
(John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory – that you bear much fruit – showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Imagine huge trees – without fruit…. Through fruit we can bring glory to God – this means we are becoming more and more like Christ through our attitude and character)
4. Proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and helping others to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
We can bring glory to God by proclaiming Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord AND helping others to confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Phil “Every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
Do you have a dream? Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a dream that one day will come when white boys and black boys will play together…”
God has a dream.
God has a dream that someday the knowledge and acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, and King will COVER all the earth / universe, just as the waters cover the seas.
We can bring glory to God by helping his dream come true.
God bless you so that you may bring glory to God.
“And whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Let’s pray (individual time)